They said it

YAIAA baseball coaches took the time to answer some questions in our spring sports questionnaire. The following are a few of their outlooks on the upcoming season:

  • "Youth will be the key to our success. We will be starting a lot of underclassman with little to no varsity experience. It is hard to replace experience." - Kevin Krebs, Susquehannock
  • "With a year of experience and hard work in the area of mechanics, our pitchers have greatly improved and will continue to mature on the mound throughout the season." - Matt Baker, Hanover
  • "We will have a lot of new guys contributing to our infield and to our pitching staff. Defense will be the big emphasis as we adapt to our new field which will add new dimensions to the game!" - Darren Hake, Red Lion
  • "It comes down to motivation. Staying motivated over the course of the entire season is important. We have to show up to practice everyday with the intent on becoming a better baseball team." - Dane Murray, Fairfield
  • "We had a great finish to our season last year by finishing third in the district playoffs and reaching the state tournament. Our goal is to maintain that high level of play on a yearly basis." - Eric Zeigler, Spring Grove
  • Jerrin Toomey can hit.

    He can run (6.7 seconds in 60-yard dash according one of his coaches).

    And he can field -- chasing down fly balls in center field.

    One of the top baseball players in the YAIAA, Toomey has decided to concentrate on football at the next level -- choosing to play at Division II Bloomsburg University. Some other athletes might have considered sitting out the spring to prepare for their first college football season. Toomey, however, never gave a thought to sitting out his final season of high school baseball.

    "No, not at all. I mean, I love baseball, and it's the last year I get to play with these (West York) guys," Toomey said. "I don't think I could ever sit out just because I was going to play another sport."

    He's one of those players that coaches love to talk about.

    West York baseball coach Roger Czerwinski will coach some of his favorite players he's ever coached this season -- including Toomey. The senior has the perfect work ethic, and he's academically sound.

    West York football coach Ron Miller calls him one of the most knowledgeable players he had on the field last season.

    "He's a film rat," Miller said. "I told college coaches, if you want to know what we do on defense, he could explain it better than I could -- and I meant that."

    In one of the more unique storylines of the fall, Toomey actually switched jersey numbers to honor his father -- a West York player from the 1980s -- on senior night.

    Toomey is just one of a talented group of West York players who have played alongside each other since they were about 9 years old. Many of the seniors on this year's baseball team play multiple sports, adding to what has been a memorable senior season for Toomey.

    "It's gone by so fast," Toomey said. "I don't want it to end. We're trying to make this last sports season last a little longer."

    Toomey is a league all-star in both baseball (.481 batting average and 26-of-26 in stolen-base attempts last year) and football (122 tackles, four interceptions).

    "I just think I can play baseball the rest of my life, whether that's in the Central League or an old-timers league," Toomey said. "I didn't want high school to be the last time I wore the pads."

    Toomey hasn't given up on baseball. He admits if he adjusts to college life, he would like to play two sports at Bloom. So don't expect to see him let up this season. At least he hasn't shown any signs of doing so in batting practice this past winter, where Czerwinski watched him learn to read the sound of the ball coming off the new bats being used at the high school level this year.

    "He's always working, he's always trying to make sure he takes the right route," Czerwinski said.

    Asked about his standout year as a junior, and Toomey is likely to change the topic. He's not into individual stats.

    He is proud of his 26 stolen bases last season. But not why you might think. He thought it was the best way to help his team score runs and win games. Toomey could reach base in some games, and he would advance to third while the No. 2 hitter in the lineup was still at the plate.

    "He's our leadoff hitter, he's our catalyst, he's the one that gets the ball rolling for us," Czerwinski said.

    And West York hopes for more of the same this season.

    jseip@ydr.com; 771-2025

    More spring sports previews:

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    Softball: York County Tech looking to take back Division IV with McLane

    Boys' track and field: William Penn's Posey aiming farther

    Girls' track and field: Janneh's New Oxford career almost didn't happen

    Boys' lacrosse: Marsher, Norris take lead for Susquehannock

    Girls' lacrosse: South Western's Szparaga determined to play

    Boys' tennis: For South Western's Meyer, it's a family thing

    Boys' volleyball: Gard, York Suburban have an itch to scratch

    Girls' soccer: Weikert helps Gettysburg take the offensive

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